Danish singer Sinne Eeg opens her new album “Dreams” (her ninth) with the seductive, bluesy, exhilarating “The Bitter End”. The color of her strong voice and her perfect pitch match well with the piano solo by Jacob Christoffersen and the forceful guitar of Larry Koonse. Joey Baron accompanies on drums majestically and Scott Colley’s bass makes it all swampy and thick. From this very promising start, I was hoping for more nice surprises like this. The good thing is that six songs out of eleven are original compositions which is always a welcome treat.
But I’m still no fan of scatting. Even though the second tune “Head Over High Heels” has a beautifully swinging groove, to me it gets ruined by the scat part. Her very clear and poignant voice is probably best enjoyed with the ballads or on medium-tempo tunes like the opening track. The lascivious mood on “Love Song” suits her exceptionally well. Her insinuating, vague vibrato turns this piece into a sweet little gem.
All five standards are endowed with scat parts, from “What Is This Thing Called Love” which opens with a drum-only accompaniment from Baron, via “Falling In Love With Love” and “I’ll Remember April” and “Anything Goes” to the very sympathetically arranged “On A Clear Day”, all those tunes are negligible and would have been far better off without the scatting. I know it is something of an oddity here but I just can’t stand those scat singing pieces. To me they always sound so derivative, not modern at all and never have anything to do with the actual song and almost always fail to come across as another solo within the piece.
So we concentrate on the original material which comprises more than half of the album. “Dreams” is more or less an instrumental mood piece without lyrics and doesn’t really resonate. The “let those children cry no more” plea on the dramatic and up-to-date “Aleppo” is really moving and shows another, very adequate side of Sinne’s songwriting. “Time To Go” is another sweet ballad of hers with a nice vocal arrangement and I just hope that she will concentrate more on her own material on future releases. Meanwhile, I just can’t get enough of the hip flavor of “The Bitter End”.